spring 2023
SVF-3109 Anthropological Theory and Ethnographic Praxis - 20 ECTS

Type of course

The course is compulsory for students admitted to Master's program in Visual Anthropology. It may not be taken as a singular course.

Admission requirements

Admission requires a Bachelor's degree (180 ECTS) or equivalent qualification with a minimum of 80 ECTS in anthropology, sociology, ethnology, folklore, cultural studies, visual media/communication, visual culture or other closely related fields of study. Applicants must enclose a statement of purpose written in English (maximum of two pages). This statement must include the purpose for and interest in pursuing the master's degree programme, especially why you find visual anthropology interesting. It should also include a short description of a proposed master thesis project. Any experience from film making should also be mentioned in the motivation letter. An average grade equivalent to C or better within the Norwegian grading system is required for Bachelor's degree or equivalent issued in Europe, Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand; And an average grade equivalent to B or better within the Norwegian grading system is required for Bachelor's degree or equivalent issued in all other countries.

Course content

The course will give students an overview of anthropological theory and epistemological issues in the social sciences, forming a background and theoretical foundation to their writing of a project description in which they identify research questions which are feasible and manageable within the limits of the fieldwork.

It also implies clarifying how the research questions are related to existing literature. Regional ethnographic literature, social science literature addressing the topic of research, and social science theory in general should be used.

Apart from lectures, the course consists of seminars in which the students` project descriptions for the master`s research project are further developed.

An individual camera-based ethnographic fieldwork of 3-4 months duration is conducted.

Recommended prerequisites

SVF-3101 Etnographic Film-making 1, SVF-3102 Etnographic Film-making 2

Objectives of the course

Students who successfully complete this course should have achieved the following learning outcomes:


  • know how to prepare, present and conduct a camera-based social scientific research project
  • have solid knowledge of literature relevant to their Master¿s project, thematically.
  • know what differentiates a research problematic from everyday problematic
  • Practical and technical preparations


  • be able to develop manageable research questions, and methodological and theoretical approaches for their master¿s project, and the chosen field of research.
  • assess how their personal commitment relates to the chosen project.
  • be able to demonstrate how the camera is going to be used in discovery of the cultural conventions of their research partners
  • be able to demonstrate how they are going to create a film narrative rooted in their overall project

General competence

  • be able to demonstrate how they are going to pursue their objectives and research questions through the choices of research partners and research settings.
  • be able to demonstrate how the textual and filmic representations are going to be related to each other.
  • be able to identify and discuss the relevance of their project to; research partners, cultural diversity globally, development of methodological and theoretical refinement.

Language of instruction and examination


Teaching methods

The course consists of approximately 20 hours with lectures (10 lectures) and approximately 16 hours with seminars. Consists of two parts; the practical and theoretical preparations and the practical fieldwork. The course runs for 6 weeks and also includes the fieldwork for the Master's Thesis.

Information to incoming exchange students

This course is available for inbound exchange students.

This course has academic prerequisites. Please see the «Admission requirements» section for more information.

Do you have questions about this module? Please check the following website to contact the course coordinator for exchange students at the faculty: INBOUND STUDENT MOBILITY: COURSE COORDINATORS AT THE FACULTIES | UiT



Examination: Grade scale:
Portfolio Passed / Not Passed

Coursework requirements:

To take an examination, the student must have passed the following coursework requirements:

Participation in safety courses with risk analysis Approved/ Not approved
Submit completed form to NSD Approved/ Not approved
Compulsory attendance at lectures (80%) Approved/ Not approved
Mid-way fieldwork report Approved/ Not approved
Project description Approved/ Not approved
UiT Exams homepage

More info about the coursework requirements

Course attendance is compulsory, i.e. only valid absences will be approved. A minimum presence of 80 % is required.

More info about the portfolio

The final portfolio must include the following:

  • Project description for the Master's project with a special focus on the formulation and discussion of the research question(s) and the theoretical and epistemological context.
  • Literature review
  • Approved risk assessment form.
  • Fieldwork report reflecting on whether or not the fieldwork is fulfilling the expectations in the original project description and how to move forward.

Students are not admitted access to camera equipment and allowed to start fieldwork before the project description and the risk assessment are approved.

Re-sit examination

A re-sit exam will be arranged for this course.
  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 20
  • Course code: SVF-3109
  • Tidligere år og semester for dette emnet